Page Type Page Type: Album
Additional Information Image Type(s): Flora

Most beautiful, graceful, and ladylike (S.Beeton, 1865)

Cyclamen which can be found...Cyclamens in the mountains of Sardinia
CyclamenCyclamen in Dinaric Alps

Cyclamens are native to Mediterranean and Near East but today they are grown all around the world (Please only add images of wild-growing cyclamens to this page!). Most of the cultivars are derived from C. persicum which still blooms in abundance in spring all over Middle Eastern mountains.

The familiar "cycle" of the genus name refers to its round tubers, and it's widely told that the pigs love to dig them up, although there may be little truth to the story. Nonetheless herbal apothecaries of old called it panis porcinus, i.e. swine bread (it was prescribed to treat baldness, to assist childbirth, and generally as an aphrodisiac). So when this gentle plant was first introduced into the gardens of England in XVI century, they made up a not-so-elegant English name Sowbread for it.

The backwards-pointing petals of cyclamens are sort of resembling North American shooting stars (Dodecatheon spp.) and they were traditionally grouped together, but more recently Cyclamens were apparently reassigned to Myrsine family.


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Anya Jingle

Anya Jingle - Apr 18, 2008 8:46 pm - Voted 10/10

Good addition!

You were lucky to be able to enjoy them in the wild. I'm familiar with cyclamens only as houseplants.

Dmitry Pruss

Dmitry Pruss - Apr 19, 2008 2:00 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Good addition!

Thanks! When I first saw them up in those hills, I was equally surprised: did they, like, escape from someone's flower pot :) ?

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